Putin orders gun control review as school shooting in Russia kills 7 children, 2 staff members

WION Web Team
MOSCOW Published: May 11, 2021, 08:08 PM(IST)

A former pupil attacked the secondary school in Tatarstan, central Russia early on Tuesday morning. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

At least nine people were killed — seven eighth-grade students, a teacher and another school worker — and 21 others were hospitalized, Russian officials said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered a review of gun control legislation following a deadly shooting at a high school in the central city of Kazan, the Kremlin said.

"The president gave an order to urgently work out a new provision concerning the types of weapons that can be in civilian hands, taking into account the weapon" used in the attack, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Gravitas: Russia school shooting

Earlier in the day, A gunman attacked a school in the Russian city of Kazan, sending students running out of the building as smoke poured from its windows. At least nine people were killed — seven eighth-grade students, a teacher and another school worker — and 21 others were hospitalized, Russian officials said.

Footage released by Russian media outlets showed students dressed in black and white running out of the building. Another video depicted shattered windows, billowing smoke and sounds resembling gunshots in the background. Dozens of ambulances lined up at the school's entrance after the attack and police fenced off access to the building.

Russian media said while some students were able to escape, others were trapped inside during the ordeal. All students were eventually evacuated to nearby daycare centres and collected by their families.

Officials said the attacker has been arrested and police opened a criminal investigation into the shooting. Authorities immediately put additional security measures into place in all schools in Kazan, a city 700 kilometres (430 miles) east of Moscow.

Rustam Minnikhanov, Governor of the Tatarstan republic where Kazan is the capital, said four boys and three girls, all eighth-grade students, died, as well as a teacher and another school worker.

“The terrorist has been arrested, (he is) 19 years old. A firearm is registered in his name. Other accomplices haven’t been established, an investigation is underway,” Minnikhanov said after visiting the school.

According to Tatarstan health officials, 21 people were hospitalized with wounds after the attack, including 18 children, six of whom were in “severely grave condition.”

Authorities announced a day of mourning on Wednesday to honour the victims of the shooting and cancelled all lessons in Kazan schools.

While school shootings are relatively rare in Russia, there have been several violent attacks on schools in recent years, mostly by students. In response to Tuesday's attack, authorities in several Russian regions ordered sweeping security inspections at schools.

Russian media said the shooter was a former student of the school who reportedly called himself “a god” on his account on the messaging app Telegram and promised to “kill a large amount of biomass” on the morning of the shooting. The account was blocked by Telegram after the attack, the independent news outlet Meduza said.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App